Senate Majority Leader John Unger II (D-Berkeley) introduced a bill today aimed at using transportation projects as opportunities to improve the quality of life for West Virginians.
Senate Bill 609 requires that incorporating complete streets features, such as sidewalks, crosswalks, bicycle lanes, and accessible curb ramps, be considered when designing transportation projects.
A complete streets policy aims to increase the safety and accessibility of roads for all users, from ensuring persons in wheelchairs have sidewalks that are wide and flat enough to use to protecting bicyclists who share the road with motorists.
“Increasing mobility, especially for pedestrians, fosters an inviting environment that improves the sense of community and helps local businesses,” Senator Unger said. “We’ve seen the benefits a policy like this has on communities here in West Virginia and this bill ensures towns throughout the state can enjoy the same positive outcomes.”
Planning ahead for future use of roads by including complete streets features in new projects can also save municipalities or the state from costly retrofitting expenditures later.
Senate Bill 609 was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.